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False drugs, real crime: Possession and sale of fake controlled substances

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2023 | Criminal Defense, Drug Charges |

It’s no secret that the U.S. has a hardline stance against controlled substances. While illegal drugs such as heroin, peyote and Ecstasy are considered controlled substances, even certain prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs such as Ativan, Adderall, Ritalin and Xanax are part of the list, due to their potential for substance abuse and addiction.

This prohibition also extends to imitation or counterfeit controlled substances, which may or may not have stimulating or psychoactive effects. There are counterfeits for both illegal substances and actual medication, and they can have chemicals in them that can make them even more dangerous than the real thing.

It’s a crime to possess and sell counterfeit drugs in Nebraska. Anyone caught possessing a substance posing as the real deal will face real consequences.

Imitation drug offenses

According to state law, any person who possesses, manufactures, distributes or delivers a counterfeit controlled substance is guilty of a Class III misdemeanor for their first offense. On conviction, this criminal charge will lead to up to three months in jail and a $500 fine.

However, if a person faces a conviction for a second or subsequent time, their offense becomes a Class II misdemeanor. Penalties for this offense include up to six months of jail time and $1,000 in fines.

Lookalike substance offenses

Nebraska also has a law prohibiting persons from offering, displaying, marketing or advertising a lookalike of a legal substance such as medicines. A person is guilty of this crime if the substance they’re marketing has misleading packaging, lacks information about its chemical compounds or fails to specify the manufacturer’s or distributor’s name.

This is a Class IV felony, which carries up to two years of prison and $10,000 in fines on conviction.

Fake controlled substances and drugs are dangerous to possess and sell, even if they aren’t as effective as actual controlled substances. Likewise, the law treats these substances the same as their equally illegal real counterparts. Anyone facing charges for these offenses – even for a prank – should carefully plan their defense for court or potentially face jail time.